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Fruits and vegetables micronutrients | Kassandra Hobart

Lately, the nutrition industry is dominated by macronutrient tracking, but what about micronutrients? Micronutrients are vitamins and minerals we get from the whole foods we eat. With the nutrition world spending so much time on macronutrients, we’ve lost sight into how beneficial micronutrients are to our health and fitness.

In this article, I want to revisit the value of micronutrients, share their important interactions, and show you how to balance them in your diet for better energy and performance.


We can break them down into two parts: micro and nutrients. Nutrients are chemical substances contained in food that are necessary to sustain life. They play major key roles in the body for energy, structure, and function. Micro means crucial in small amounts; micronutrients serve as essential substances for physiological function and structural building blocks. Like macronutrients, they are essential for optimizing your health.

Vitamins list by Kassandra Hobart, FNTP

Micronutrients are classified into two categories: vitamins and minerals. Vitamins are organic substances, made from plants or animals. Minerals are inorganic elements that come from the earth, soil, and water.

Vitamins are important to your health and growth. To optimize their functions, you need the right support of minerals, enzymes, and other vitamins. For example, vitamin A absorption is enhanced by vitamin E, zinc, and iron.

Minerals have many vital roles in the body as well. They include acting as cofactors for enzymatic reactions, maintaining pH balance, regulating tissue growth, and maintaining proper nerve conduction. You cannot make them internally either. You get them from eating plants and animals that have absorbed the minerals through rocks, soil, and water in the ground.

Mineral list by Kassandra Hobart, FNTP


Vitamins and minerals have a delicate balance in the body. The more we understand how they interact, the better they’ll benefit your bio-individual needs.

Let’s keep this as simple as possible because it’s easy to get lost in the details. Each micronutrient has complementary, or synergistic, nutrients as well as incompatible, or antagonistic, nutrients. Synergistic nutrients enhance and help one another. Antagonistic nutrients diminish or compete with one another.


The goal of balancing micronutrients is to create harmony while emphasizing specific nutrients that’ll support your body and goals. Vitamins and minerals interact throughout many processes in the body such as absorption, transportation, and metabolism. You’ll find both synergistic and antagonistic nutrients at almost every step along the way. Let’s use an example of vitamin A to illustrate it’s connection and competition with other nutrients.

Vitamin A’s synergistic nutrients are vitamin E, iodine, iron and zinc. Vitamin E enhances vitamin A’s intestinal absorption. Iodine helps Vitamin A support thyroid function more so than on its own. Iron is required for converting Vitamin A form beta-carotene to retinol. In order for vitamin A to be the best at its jobs, it needs help from these nutrients. Then on the other hand, you have incompatible nutrients. Vitamin A’s antagonist is vitamin K, which can inhibit the absorption and uptake of Vitamin A.

The takeaway is this: now that we know how vitamin E, iodine, and iron support vitamin A, we can include foods rich in these particular micronutrients to support vitamin A levels. We also know to be aware of how much vitamin K we take in because it’ll diminish vitamin A. This works well when vitamin A is your focus point. Now let’s turn to other micronutrients and their relationships.


Each micronutrient has its own set of complementary and incompatible vitamins and minerals. Here are the 5 we need supplementation for most often along with their synergistic supporters and antagonistic competitors. Support the micronutrient metabolism by implementing synergistic sources in your meals. Though they don’t cancel out one for one, be careful how many antagonistic sources you eat at the same time.

Note: this does not mean to avoid antagonistic sources all together! You may just want to avoid them in the same meal as your focused nutrient or around the time you supplement with it.



Calcium helps the absorption of B12 along with thyroid hormone.

Sources: broccoli, cauliflower, peas, pinto beans, almonds brazil nuts


Vitamin C degrades B12 especially with B1 and copper present.

Sources: oranges, lemons, limes, cherries, papayas, strawberries

Vitamin B9 (Folic Acid) increases the need for B12 and vice versa.